Junior Inquisitor

Junior Inquisitor

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Hope 239 by Jeffery Goff


Today there has been a Science Fiction invasion by my good buddy Jeffery Goff and his upcoming novel Hope 239. As Jeffery is a writer, I think we can let him drive the bus, giving us insight in to his story.
 
 
 
Hope 239 blurb:
Year 239 is the beginning of the final stages of Hope’s one-way voyage. For over two centuries Hope has been traveling through space to reach its destination: the ten habitable planets of the Hope System. Generations have lived and died without ever knowing they were inside of a spaceship.

Captain Sterris, who has occupied her command chair for thirty-eight years, ventures into the taboo realm of questioning. She wonders what they are really doing on Hope and why, along with bigger questions of who are they and where they came from.

As the final phase commences and the questions mount, Captain Sterris confronts the terrifying possibility that someone has planned a devastating end for her ship and its crew. Through an unlikely alliance with Dr. Mahmud, Hope’s Chief Medical Representative, and the inquisitiveness of two youngsters in the Leadership Corps, Sterris discovers her fears are shared by others.

Among the tens of thousands of people on Hope, there are only a very few who suspect things are not the way they’ve been taught to believe. And these few need to figure out how to override the preprogrammed plan of destruction before it is too late.
 

Tell us how this story came about

 
 

Hope 239
Two years ago I began writing an historical horror tale set in a creepy dance pavilion built a half-mile into the Great Salt Lake. The actual building, called Saltair, was built in the 1890’s and looked like it had been picked up from somewhere in the Ottoman Empire, transported thousands of miles, and then dropped into the Great Salt Lake. One could only reach it by taking a train across the long trestle a few feet above the salty water. The Great Salt Lake isn’t very deep, even out in the middle, so constructing a building a half-mile from shore isn’t as daunting a task as it might initially sound. Hell, back in the day, the Southern Pacific Railroad built a bridge all the way across it. This first pavilion mysteriously burned down in 1925; however, it was quickly replaced by a new larger, grander structure. Saltair II, as it was called, shut down around 1960, but if anyone has seen the old movie “Carnival of Souls” then you are familiar with the building and the setting I was writing about. Anyway, I was well into this project, when a different voice, from a different place, in an entirely different genre started whispering in my ear.

Hearing voices is nothing new (being a fiction writer, I’m quite accustomed to an assortment of the disembodied begging for attention). In this particular case, the female voice was a persistent one. I was able to ignore her for a few weeks. But it was a losing battle. So I decided a little appeasement was in order. I wrote a short story, thinking she would drift away, happy to have a few thousand words of her own.

She proved to be a stubborn individual. Those words turned a nebulous voice into a solid one. Before I knew what I was doing, I had backtracked 13 years in story-time, and was hard at work telling her tale in more detail, from a much earlier point-of-view. Over the course of my musings, scribblings, rewrites, and revisions, the plot of the original story was obliterated, but the spirit remained. It became a key component of what is now Hope 239.

In the strange, unpredictable life of a fiction author, I went from writing a horror story with a historical setting to creating a sci-fi world built around a generational arkship (named Hope), set some three hundred fifty years into the future. Some time ago I learned to not fight where my imagination wants to go, though, at times, I am still a bit resistant. However, I am pleased with how this novel came out and I’m looking forward to continuing the story of all those voices (and believe me there are many more clamoring to be heard). And yes, I still have the historical horror to return to one day. Until then, Hope and its crew and “passengers” will have the lead.

I don't care what Lincoln thinks, I root for the Pirates!


A bit of background on Jeffery
Jeffrey was born in the Salt Lake Valley in 1971. The earliest writing he remembers composing is a Bugs Bunny fan-fic from the late-70’s. Needless to say, Chuck Jones never used that particular story. Jeffrey spent some time at Westminster College of Salt Lake City, with an idea of becoming a history professor. Alas, life had a different idea in mind. He spent a decade bartending and bouncing, before rediscovering that early love of writing. While he has no immediate plans for writing another piece about Bugs, he has never said he wouldn’t. One never knows what the next creative inspiration might be. Hope 239 is his first novel. He still lives in the Salt Lake Valley, with his inseparable German shepherd, Bismarck, snuggled close to his feet. He’s an avid reader of all genres, gardener, and unfailing supporter of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Red Wings.


Got some Bugs Bunny Fan-fic that Jeffery needs to know about?

Think the Pirates stink, again?

Want to ask more about Hope 239?

Links:
 

For Hope 239: http://widopublishing.com/hope-239-by-jeffrey-goff/ also available on Amazon (paperback and Kindle) and from your local bookstore





 
 
 
Now before anyone asks, yes, I will be buying a copy of Hope 239.
I support Indie authors. They work hard to give us a good story.
You should do the same.

 
 
 
 
Final work has begun on The Soulless Monk. It should be ready by late August. More danger, more monsters, and more madness. In the middle, Brother Sebastian, who is in trouble and not just from the powers of darkness.
In the mean time, Junior Inquisitor is already available at the low price of just 2.99
 
 
Smashwords - http://goo.gl/XsGgAC
Google Play - http://goo.gl/g2kNPa

Saturday, July 18, 2015

My review of Safe Havens by J.T. Patten


There are a lot of militaryesque (yes, I made that word up) action thrillers out on the market. They range from pure pulp, literary Rambos, “read as one man wipes out a small nation of bad guys in between humping really hot women, in his quest for vengeance,” like Mack Bolan or the Destroyer series. Fun reads, but wildly implausible,

 
 
 
















 
 
 
 
 
 
all the way to the novels of Brad Thor, Daniel Silva, or Vince Flynn. Again it is usually one man taking out a really bad guy, or eliminating major parts of an evil cabal. 
Buy my book, Lincoln did.



 J.T. Patten's book is a bit more like I am Pilgrim, by Terry Hayes as far a realism goes, but then Patten goes one step beyond with plausibility in both hiding his characters in the darkness and in their mission. Multiple cuts out are erected in all areas, paying Havens, his organization, their equipment, and their missions. This way if anything goes wrong, the bad guys don't get propaganda, or know who just screwed up their finely wrought plans, nor does Congress get a chance to “inadvertently” expose an organization during an inquiry. These details matter in real life and in great stories.
 
Please explain what you planned to do with this Colonel Mustard
 
It is a common romantic belief that if you eliminate the head bad guy, the nefarious activities of his organization will stop. It's a nice thought, but na├»ve. The world is not Harry Potter, where if you defeat Tom Riddle, the rest of the Death Eaters, say, “Oh well, guess I'll go back to being a shop keeper or something.”

Evil League of Evil

A transnational gang or a terrorist organization is like modern business, people are there to make money and/or support a cause they believe in via nefarious activities. If the leader dies, usually number two takes over, because the money and the perceived need for their over-arching mission is still there.
 
I can run this organization!
As an example, if the CEO of Disney were suddenly to die, Disney doesn't fall apart as a company; their amusement parks close and no more movies made, the rest of the board would just elect a new CEO, and they'd continue to provide a service that makes Disney employees money.
It is the same with drug dealers, round up an entire gang, and a new one will fill in the vacuum, because people are still buying drugs. So long as there is a need, someone will fill it.

What really sets Patten's book apart is the plethora of plausible details, the main character fights terrorists, not by eliminating them one by one, but by finding a way to eliminate a key person that causes the organization to turn on itself, or to set two organizations against each other, so they are fighting, and not busy making plans for their next terrorist operation. This is, in the real world, how you eliminate a network. Perhaps, not as sexy as “One man on a mission, with lots of bad guys dying at opportune moments,” but far more realistic and gripping. Havens is a thinking James Bond, he looks for the connections and weaknesses that will tear apart on an organization, executes his mission, and sits back with some popcorn as the bad guys eliminate themselves. Then there are the details, the little bits of trade-craft, the attitude of people, the smells in the souk, that flesh out and make real this story.

Thinking James Bond,” is not a slur, Havens is no cube monkey studying org charts, he is a planner and a doer. That's how the book starts off, Havens is on mission in Yemen, and then things start to go wrong. Not with the mission itself, although there are some times he needs to improvise, but at home. Things have gone horribly off-kilter, and Havens has to find a way to fight through the self-recrimination, doubts, and manipulation of off-stage actors to avoid being lured into an even darker world where he is the patsy.
I will be waiting for the next book, and you should be reading Safe Havens now.
 
 
If you like action adventure, darkness, monsters and magic, perhaps you'd like to try my book Junior Inquisitor. Still just 2.99 with 30 five star reviews.
 
 
Smashwords - http://goo.gl/XsGgAC
Google Play - http://goo.gl/g2kNPa
 


Thursday, July 9, 2015

My first royalty check


                              I got my first royalty check today.




I have to admit I was disappointed. Yes, I was happy that many people liked my book, that people paid me to entertain them, and yet...





Writing is an art, not a science. No one can well predict which book will suddenly become a hit and which one will trudge along unnoticed and unloved. I know that I have only one book out, that I'm a new and untested author, that fewer and fewer people read and that there are many other alternatives to The Junior Inquisitor. Perhaps I'm expecting to much, that I've watched to many episodes of “Castle,” or I know too many successful authors, those who have paid their dues, and have been where I am now; fought on past the doubts to write another book and another until they were successful. I know all of that logically.
 
                               But the disappointment lingers.



I marketed the hell out of Junior Inquisitor, I was on a dozen or more different blogs promoting my book. My editor and I came up with excellent seeming promotional materials. I had both a Facebook and Twitter account established before my release or soon there after. There is this blog which can sometimes get decent traffic, my friends and family pitched in, the guys and gals from my Reserve unit helped as well, telling the world that there was a great new story available. My reviews on Amazon are positive, close to thirty 5 star reviews, many of those are from certified buyers, which are apparently more trusted. Despite this, I still have not gotten into the black with my upfront costs. I owe no money to the IRS as I have not yet made a profit, a small blessing I suppose, but that means that I am still a hobbyist; that I am not yet good enough to be considered a professional writer.





So the doubts linger, sticky and cloying. Unwilling to be banished. Did I do something wrong? Is my marketing strategy not working, perhaps my stories are to different, to dark, to find a large audience. Maybe, worst of all: maybe my stories are just not good enough for prime time.
 
 
 

I just don't know. The lack of understanding makes me hesitate. Should I sink even more money and time into The Soulless Monk? How long will my wife put up with me missing out on things to craft a story if no money is coming in from it? How much and for how long am I going to sacrifice on something that does not seem to be working?

                        I don't know, and that bothers me a great deal.



At the same time I am driven to tell my tales, they must come out. I did not choose to write so much as was cursed by it. There is only one real way past these doubts, and that is to work. Hone my craft and abilities, tell others that there is a great story, soon to be a series of stories, awaiting them. I must continue on until the day arrives when I am a success in my eyes and in the eyes of those I love.

                                         I just pray it is soon.





        Want a great story for less than the price of a cup of fancy coffee?

         Amazon - http://goo.gl/D6KrbX

         Smashwords - http://goo.gl/XsGgAC

         Nook - http://goo.gl/MVLXia

         Google Play - http://goo.gl/g2kNPa